Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber: Making Obama Look Very Good

Anyone who watched last night’s presidential debate quickly heard more than enough references to “Joe the plumber.”

I know that McCain is displeased to the point of desperation over his recent showings in the polls and is scrambling for something, anything, to turn the trend around. Desperation apparently makes you stupid, because using Joe the plumber as the centerpiece of a debate strategy was as dirt-dumb a move as I’ve ever seen.

I had never heard of Joe the plumber before last night’s debate. With the candidates focusing vast amounts of time on him, I said “Who the fuck is Joe the plumber?” My sweetie said she’d tell me all about it after the debate.

Turns out that Joe the plumber is Joe Wurzelbacher of Ohio. Mr. Wurzelbacher showed up at an Obama campaign event in Toledo, Ohio a few days back. He talked with Obama outside the event venue about how he’s been a plumber for some fifteen years and is ready to buy a plumbing business that grosses a little over $250,000. The point of the encounter, of course, was showing that Obama’s tax plan would impose “higher taxes” on Joe for wanting his piece of the American dream.

Anyone who was the least bit curious about Joe the plumber could have found video of the encounter on youtube. Obama spoke with Joe politelty and in great detail for over five minutes. Check it out. I think you’ll agree that Obama did a superb job of addressing the guy’s concerns. Obama pointed out that that only the money earned above $250,000 would be subject to the higher tax rate. Toward the end Obama pointed out his proposed capital gains tax cut and noted that if Joe built his company to a $500,000-per-year business, he’d probably end up paying less in taxes under Obama’s plan than under McCain’s.

It was truly superb work on Obama’s part. Really. See for yourself.

Mr. Wurzelbacher had a “gotcha” look about him throughout the encounter, so it was pretty apparent that something was up. Sure enough, soon after the encounter Mr. Wurzelbacher was on the phone with Neil Cavuto of F[ederal]O[ffice of]X[enophobia] News blabbering about socialism and Robin Hood.

The last time I looked, some poll showed that 30% or so of respondents thought they were in the top 1% of income earners. In my own experience, many who know they aren’t in the top 1% think they will be within the couple of years or so.

And then there’s always a core group of dumbasses who don’t understand the marginal rate system we use to tax income. Those idiots are convinced that there comes a point when making more money actually means making less because tax increases outstrip income gains.

These, along with the VARR (violent, angry, racist retard) community, are the fools that McCain, Fox News and obvious shills like Joe the plumber are playing to. It’s all they’ve got left.

The sad part is, it may be enough.

-- Complete Defeasance


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